Monday, June 30, 2008

How I Like To Build Niche Store Pages

You probably have a few Build A Niche Stores under your belt, but I wanted to show you how I go about building my Niche Stores. It starts in the setup portion of the admin section. The store details section in the image to the left shows the number 2 in the category number. This is how I start all stores. This lets me build store pages one by one and be selective on what I want to build my store around. I want nothing left to default, because eBay sellers are lazy and will not properly list there items in the right places of category or sub category numbers. After getting this initial setup done, I move on to creating individual store pages. This is done by clicking on Store Pages button in the admin section and then Create Store Page Link.

The image to left is where the magic is done. I usually use the master category of where the bulk of the products are listed in as the sub category will likely cause you to miss out on displaying some great items. By using the master category number you are not limited to people putting items in the wrong sub categories. By using the search query section I can drill down into all sub categories including the master category to pull listings that meet my needs. I made an early post on the eBay search commands and I suggest you use it. Another thing this will force you to do is create your own link title and link url for your page as well as having to create your own meta tags. This will make each store page unique as well and will ensure the surfer is finding the right product matches to meet their searches. Too many times people will continue to set up new stores by using all of the default settings and category trees and I really think you are shooting yourself in the foot by doing this. Another plus to building this way is that you are less likely to be affected by category number changes made by eBay. It still could happen if they change a parent category number, but not as likely. You can also add store pages at will if a new product or a higher demand for an item starts showing itself. You may also see in your traffic stats that people are finding your store by a specific search term, you could then quickly add a store page very quickly by using this process. I highly suggest you get into this habit of building your store pages going forward as I truly believe it gives you more control throughout your Build A Niche Stores.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

How I Started With Niche Store Building

I get this question all the time and thought I would knock it out on a lazy Sunday. Late in 2006 I began noticing several websites showing eBay products on sites. I was not new to affiliate marketing by no means, although I sucked terribly at it. If there was a list of the top sucky affiliate marketers at the time, I would of been #1. I knew these sites were making money some how as I knew they were not just displaying products out of the goodness of their heart. After searching the net for a while, I stumbled upon Easy Niche Store Script. It was very easy to set up and worked all off of PHP and no database. I just looked at the site again and see it still works that way. Anyhow, I gobbled up a domain name from Godaddy and a years hosting and was off to conquer the internets. Yes I paid out the nose for ONE domain on Godaddy hosting, see even I made huge mistakes. The eBay products pulled in via calling the php code and you inserted the code on whatever website you had built. My first store was very very crude. Was not optimized well and took forever to get many store pages knocked out. After 2 stores lots of late nights and very little income, I knew there had to be a better way. I then stumbled upon Build A Niche Store a few months later and bought it and installed it on those same 2 stores. I was so freaked out about rebuilding stores that I pieced the 2 together. Calling in BANS pages dynamically in my old sites. After I integrated the two I got very frustrated and put it down for a while. I didn't check anything, stats, sales or nothing. I think about 8 weeks went by and I got a pretty good check in the mail from Commission Junction and my Adsense account finally topped $100.00 after having it for quite a while. That opened my eyes that with my crappy stores and crappy SEO and pieced together stores that I still managed to make money. I then committed myself full steam. Read everything I could for about 3 weeks. Often stayed up to 2-3 in the morning reading and learning. I then started building, building and building. The light came on and the rest is history. So let me tell you. If a bird brain like me could figure this out, any of you surely can. Like anything worth having in life it takes learning and trial and error. Oh and by the way, I think I am down to #3 on the list of the top sucky affiliate marketers a of all time. Keep at as it has changed my life.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Shopping Trip Could Do You Good

Just arrived back from the Foley Outlet Center for a trip out shopping with my wife and it was very rewarding on several levels. Now i am not one who likes to make a habit of going and watch my wife spend a ton of money, but it did give me a chance to explore a few niches and look at some marketing ads up close. Also it got me away from the computer for a little while as well. I am not burned out by no means, but do feel a bit refreshed getting away for the morning. I am a few dollars lighter in the bank account, but all is good. You should get in the habit every now and again to see what is out there first hand. I had my notebook in the truck and jotted down a few ideas for future Build A Niche Stores. I hope everyone has a great Saturday.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Keeping Your Goals & List In Front Of You

The picture I posted serves as my desktop background and is also framed on my desk. Why? Because I want to keep my destination in front of me at all times and that what motivates me. My wife and I love Las Vegas. We go once or twice a year and will move out there soon. It is important to keep your goals and list of things to accomplish in front of you at all times, because it works wonders on your subconciuos. Whatever your hot button is, you need to find it and put it in front of you as many times a day as possible. Keeping a list of items needing to be acconmplished should be treated this way as well. I keep a long term and short term list by my side at all times and I scratch them off as they get done and add new task as they come to mind. This will really work on for you on getting more things done if you just give it a chance. Have a great weekend and...

Las Vegas, I Am On My Way Soon!!!!!

Ads On Your Build A Niche Stores

This post will be agreed with by many and disagreed with by many as well. Let me start off with a real life personal story. My own father WILL NOT buy anything off of eBay. He just does not trust it from whatever circle of influence he might of formed that opinion on, I do not know. I have told him time and time again how and what to look for when shopping eBay with no avail. I have tracked his surfing for a week on his computer (with his knowledge of doing so) and noticed he does click on ads and has indeed purchased from other companies online via an affiliate ad. You have to face the facts that there are people out there like that. That is why on some of my BANS stores I try to place ads from other advertisers that sell the same niche items I am promoting. I want to try to produce some income from EVERY surfer that visits one of my stores. With the emergence of Pepperjam, it has opened up a bigger outlet of net advertisers. When you combine Pepperjam with Commission Junction, Linkshare, Google Adsense and a few other ad network sites, there is no reason you should not be able to find an affiliate program that sells products related to your niche. If you have built your store right, you have promised the surfer they will find what they are looking for by coming to your store so make sure to give them as many options as possible and funnel the surfer to where they want to go.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

More On Deep Linking Inside Your BANS Store

I have touched a bit before on deep linking inside your Build A Niche Store and what to go a bit further with it. Hopefully you are adding some unique content to your BANS stores, even on the store pages. If you are, it is a good practice to link to other pages within your site with strong anchor text. The front page is a fantastic place to start. You probably have a wordy synopsis of your site and what you sell on the front page and it is great practice to link to other parts of your site in that text alone. Perhaps you have a history of the blue widgets you sell and you front page mentions that your site has a history of blue widgets. You can link that text to the history of blue widgets page. On the actual page of the history of blue widgets you can link to certain store pages of different blue widgets mentioned in your history of blue widgets content page as well. Certain times readers will ignore your actual navigation and will more than likely follow and click links while reading. Blogs are notorious for deep linking one post to a prior post as this is great practice. You never know when one page of your content may acquire a strong backlink from another site with strong pagerank or relevance and you want to make sure that juice is passed on to other pages inside your site. You can vary up the anchor text as well in the internal links as they do not have to match your navigational anchor text. Try to use a different keyword phrase related to what surfers may be looking for. Keep adding content and do not be afraid to link that content page to another part of your site, it builds as a great funnel for traffic to send the surfer exactly to where they want to go, which hopefully will be to a purchase of a product on eBay.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Does Your Store Look Like A Build A Niche Store?

We are slowly moving into a time where Google likely will be doing more and more hand reviews and with the influx of out of the box Build A Niche Stores that are serving as thin affiliate sites it is time to start dumping the "look" of the BANS store. Although there are 9 different templates with the out of the box stores, they are very identifiable. Even though you might be in the class that is properly optimizing your stores and adding content, your look of your store might get you deindexed in the near future. Also any store submitted to DMOZ is probably getting rejected at first glance. I highly suggest going forward you consider designing your own Build A Niche Store template or buying a template that adds uniqueness. Sure I sell templates and so do others, but make sure when you buy templates they still do not resemble a standard BANS template. If you decide to build your own template there is a tutorial right on the BANS site. Adam and Kelvin have talked about incorporating new templates in the standard BANS download in the near future, but there is no time table on a future release. Uniqueness in not only content but design will put your stores at the head of the class. Now let me clarify that just putting a new template on an out of the box BANS store with no unique content or SEO will not help you make more money. You can read about the feedback of the templates I have modified for BANS, here. You will notice they do not look like a BANS store template and are easy to play with. I will also sell them individually if you contact me by private message or email. I am also working on a new set that will be ready next week.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Build A Niche Store Google Sitemap Errors

If you are using Google webmasters tools (and you should be), you may have noticed getting some errors with your sitemaps the last few days. Build A Niche Store creates it's own sitemap on the fly. You can see your own sitemap at if you set up your store in the root folder. What Google seems to be throwing errors on is the fact that the auto generated sitemap gives a priority of 1 to every page. Google does not seem to like this now. Below is a little more on priority from

The priority of this URL relative to other URLs on your site. Valid values range from 0.0 to 1.0. This value does not affect how your pages are compared to pages on other sites—it only lets the search engines know which pages you deem most important for the crawlers.

The default priority of a page is 0.5.

Please note that the priority you assign to a page is not likely to influence the position of your URLs in a search engine's result pages. Search engines may use this information when selecting between URLs on the same site, so you can use this tag to increase the likelihood that your most important pages are present in a search index.

Also, please note that assigning a high priority to all of the URLs on your site is not likely to help you. Since the priority is relative, it is only used to select between URLs on your site.

You can edit the priority to each and every page to default by opening the sitemap.php file you have on your harddrive from the latest BANS download and browse down to the bottom until you find:

function sitemap($cat_url, $update) {
echo '<url>';
echo '<loc>'.URL_PATH.'/'.$cat_url.'</loc>';
echo '<changefreq>'.$update.'</changefreq>';
echo '<priority>1</priority>';
echo '</url>';

You can then change the number 1 in the priority section to 0.5 it will then look like below.

function sitemap($cat_url, $update) {
echo '<url>';
echo '<loc>'.URL_PATH.'/'.$cat_url.'</loc>';
echo '<changefreq>'.$update.'</changefreq>';
echo '<priority>0.5</priority>';
echo '</url>';

Sonjay and Bob also have fixes in this thread for those that want to designate different priority numbers to certain pages. I am currently split testing these.

Overall both these fixes are probably not of HUGE importance, but any time Google flashes red letters at me, I try to sort them out. Perhaps in future BANS releases there will be an option to easily set the priority of each page and have it show in the sitemap.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Adding Dynamic PHP To Header Or Footer

If you are wanting to pull in some dynamic PHP content on a certain page, perhaps in the header or footer section, this can be done very easily. often times I like certain text to show up in the header on a certain page. Often times maybe in the h2 tag. First copy the code below into the header.php section before the last </head> tag.

function curPageURL() {
$pageURL = 'http';
if ($_SERVER["HTTPS"] == "on") {$pageURL .= "s";}
$pageURL .= "://";
if ($_SERVER["SERVER_PORT"] != "80") {
} else {
return $pageURL;

Next if pulling text you may want to open notepad and try this test file. Copy below code and paste it in notepad and save as test.php on your harddrive. Then upload test.php to your website in the root section of your directory.

<h2>This is a test!</h2>

Next in the header section you can place the code below where you want the text to show. Perhaps up top in the header or underneath the search or wherever. The below example we will make the text show only on the homepage.


You can also tell it to display on another content page as well. Lets say you have a content page named history. The code would be like this below.


You can even display it on a certain store page using the curPageURL function. Lets say the location of a store page was

You would have a command below in your header.

if (curPageURL()==""){

This would make that text show on that page.

You can also set it up to pull different php files for different pages. Say you created 3 different php files of different text and wanted each one to show on a different page. Lets say you named these test.php test1.php and test2.php

You want test.php to show on the home page, test1.php to show on the history page and test2.php to show on the store page namedcoolstuff. You can put all of the code together like below.

if (curPageURL()==""){

Wherever you place the code above in the header is where the text will show. This is a broad brush stroke on how to do this. It will take some playing around on your part and I highly advise you back up your header and footer files before playing around with it in case you mess something up. I use this feature in almost every BANS site I build. It is very easy to do once you play around with it.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Googlebot Has Yet To Purchase Anything

I am seeing more and more Build A Niche Stores that are falling back in the traps of some keyword stuffing in their content and store pages. To make matters worse they are bolding every instance of that keyword or keyword phrase as well. Sometimes we lose fact that we are building these stores for the customer and not the Googlebot. Trust me when I say if it is unnatural it will come back to bite you in the butt. Build your store and content pages for the surfer first, while keeping the search engines in mind. I have yet to see Googlebot make a purchase from any of my stores and I doubt it will any time soon. Sure you should make sure you mention your keywords a few times, but do not over do it. Build naturally and practice good quality backlinks and fill your site with rock solid content. Just because a piece of software is sold to create gobs of keyword driven bland content, does not mean that it will help you. Do not fall into the traps of the paid easy path. Like my dad use to ask me. "If Tommy jumped off the top of the Empire State building, would you do it too?" Often times people search for the easy, quick way to easy street and waste so much time doing it, they never do the things right in front of them that they know deep down inside are the right things to do. The business of affiliate marketing is not easy while at the same time it is not overly difficult. Proper SEO onsite and offsite combined with solid content along with quality backlinks will get you where you need to be. Don't go doing the wrong things just because Tommy is doing it.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

How Many Stores Will It Take?

This question I get a ton via email or private message. The answer is unpossible to answer. In reality if you have 10 complete Build A Niche Stores full of unique content and all ranking good in the search engines and receiving 50-100 unique surfers a day, you will be making some great money.About 20% of my stores produce 80% of my income. Actually it is 25% of my stores that produde 80% of my income (i just looked it up). That does not mean the other 75% do not produce income, just not the bulk of it. I am currently going back through each store now and making well needed changes and adding quality backlinks. In reality your goal should be to get 10 solid stores up and ranking. Then get 100% of your stores producing 100% of your income. Do not worry about others getting into or stealing your niche. If you outwork them you have nothing to worry about. Build quality sites around a great niche and build backlinks. Cream rises to the top.

Friday, June 20, 2008

10 Mistakes Most Newbies Make

Happy Friday, everyone! Today we will cover what I consider to be the most important mistakes new Build A Niche Store builders make.

1. Directions - They do not read the manual thoroughly. There is a ton of things and common questions answered right on your own hard drive. I bet not many of you have even printed it out. Print it and keep it next to you as quick reference.

2. Hosting - Most new users ignore the fact that Hostgator is the suggested host for BANS. They suggest this for a reason. Many go through Godaddy and some other budget hosting companies only to discover problems or much worse down time. Once you have a better grasp of everything, then you can mess with different host.

3. Niche Research - Most do not know how to do it or what they are even looking to do. All they know is they want an xBox or iPod store and that is all they know. Dig around in the blog or the BANS forums. There is tons of info on researching niches.

4. Broad Stores - Even if you have researched your niche, most set up too broad of stores. There is no reason to have 100 pages if you are just starting out. Going back and optimizing the 100 pages for a newbie almost always takes the wind right out of their sail. Start small and narrow as it is easy to add to later and you will not feel so overwhelmed.

5. Default Meta Tags - Just because it is set up out of the box that way, does not mean that is the way it is meant to stay. I just posted yesterday on meta tags and I suggest you apply it too EVERY store and content page.

6. Default Store Navigation Text - See #5 on this as well. If at all possibly, rename the page anchor text to better accommodate your store.

7. No Unique Content - If you hate writing or do not have the money or resources to add ORIGINAL UNIQUE CONTENT, you better learn to like it or have a rich uncle. This is probably the most ignored tip I give. Spinning articles or Wiki pages is not the same either. Make you store the authority on what it sells and you will reap the benefits.

8. No Daily Plan - If you have no plan to succeed daily or weekly at different task, you have then planned to fail. If you only have 1 hour a week to dedicate to your site, you better know ahead of time what you are going to do with that hour.

9. Poor SEO/Traffic Generation - You can have the fanciest well designed website on the web with great graphics and headers, but if it is not optimized well and gets very little traffic it will not succeed. Too many people worry about building a web masterpiece for the eyes instead of focusing on SEO, traffic generation and link building. Pretty websites with no traffic only end up getting seen by you.

10. You Quit - I hate to tell you this, but if you mark this date a year from now on the calender. I am willing to bet only 2 or 3 of every 10 that read this blog will still be active. It is the facts. Most of you will blame BANS, EPN, me or something else for you quiting as well. Affiliate Marketing has a steep, steep learning curve. Once you get past that curve and the light comes on, it all slowly starts falling into place. When you do quit, please sell or give the stores to someone who will use them.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Meta Tags Explained

Wanted to get back to a few basic meta tag principles for some of the newer Build A Niche Store builders. Meta tags are troublesome for many, so I wanted to touch on a few things. whatever you do, do not leave the default meta tags in place. Change them up.

Title tag:

Limit the length of your title tag to about 65 characters including spaces. A little more or a little less is fine, but try to stay under that number. Use keywords or keyword phrases you are targeting for that page. It doesn't have to be the first words, but should be near the beginning. When writing titles for your stores, keep in mind the search terms your surfers will use to find your site or particular page. Try to avoid your store name if it is not related to the search. I see a ton of Joe Bobs iPod Store in titles. Unless you are a well established Joe Bob and known for selling iPods, your store will never be found that way. People tend to think just because a certain word is in their domain name that they have put it in the title. This is not needed. You can use a separater such as | - > if you need to break up phrases.

If you sell red widgets on a page your title might look like this.

Red Widgets For Sale | Fuzzy Red Widgets | Antique Red Widgets
Buy red widgets, fuzzy red widgets & antique red widgets here.

Description tag:

Meta descriptions have three main characteristics. They describe the content of the page. They act as a small advertisement of your store in the search engine results. They are also used to show your targeted keywords, not so much for ranking, but to sell the page to surfers. I like to think of it as the selling tag. Make sure to mention your keywords or keyword phrases in your description and it should be no more than 160 characters. Great selling description tags can make a difference in someone clicking your site versus another in search engine results.

If you sell red widgets on a page your description might look like this.

Find all of the best deals on red widgets here. We also carry all of the hard to find fuzzy and antique red widgets. We update our red widget inventory daily.

Keyword tag:

While most search engines do not take into account the keyword tag, it is always great practice to still include one. You never know what new or old search engine might start recognizing it again and it takes only a few seconds to complete and implement. Make sure to use all of the instances of the keyword or keyword phrase for that particular page and separate the words or phrases by a comma.

If you sell red widgets on a page your keyword tag might look like this.

widgets, red, fuzzy, antique, red widgets, fuzzy widgets, antique widgets, widgets for sale, buy widgets

I hope this has given you a little clearer picture of the meta tags. Do them right the first time and never leave them to the default settings. Research your keyword phrases and build each store page around a phrase or keyword set.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Need An Article? Unique Content Is King!

As many of you know who read this blog on a regular basis, I am constantly harping on unique original content on your Build A Niche Stores. If you are not adding content, you are in for a hard road. Without content you are just a thin affiliate site and unless you have strong backlinks either paid or unpaid, it will be hard to keep that store successful over a long period of time. You have to offer value with your stores on the web. By adding good solid keyword original content, you are also setting yourself up to acquiring natural deep linking backlinks to your store, which are priceless. As you also know, I like to write a lot of my own content, but with so many stores I wanted to maximize my time versus cost efforts without losing quality. I have been watching all of the reviews on the Need An Article service and recently joined to give them a test drive. I have used posters on the Digital Point forum as well in the past, but got inconsistent results. I ordered 5 articles on Need An Article and received them back very fast. The articles were very well written and factual. I also ran them through Copyscape and they passed with flying colors. There have been a few article spinners recently that have come down the pipe and I was just not comfortable with them and none where even worth a review. I only advertise products and services that I use and endorse on this blog. I could get away with promoting other things to make a buck, but in the long run it will not help you or the longevity and trust factor of this blog. Please do not take this as a crack on other bloggers or article spinner programs either. If you are using spinners and having good success, by all means keep doing what you are doing. Need An Article does have a monthly fee, so if you are on a budget, I suggest joining a month and then getting as many articles as you need done in the first month. I for one am keeping my membership as I like the flexibility of having these writers at my disposal. They will soon be offering a request a writer feature that will enable you to have your article written by your favorite writer as well. I had three different writers on my first five articles I had done and all were quality. I do feel if you are going to pay for some unique content I would make sure it goes on your own site first. Wait for that to get indexed by the SERPS before submitting it off to article directories if that is your plan. That way your article on your store is the original on the web. This will not be the last time you hear me harp on original content, but I do highly endorse Need An Article if you simply can't or do not like writing yourself.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Google Analytics Explained By Video

I see several Build A Niche Store owners that have graduated to Google analytics, but have no idea how to go about using it and the usefulness of it. I have found and watched a great selection of videos I think explain it a ton better than I would ever be able to do. Understanding your traffic and where it is coming and going in your BANS stores is very important. If you have just started to use Google Analytics and are not quite sure which reports to look at, this beginners video will help provide a helpful first-time analysis walk through of Google Analytics.

Here also is a link to a great play list on Google Analytics as well. Also here is a link to the Google Analytics blog page on videos.

Monday, June 16, 2008

How To Read The BANS & EPN Forums

This has been on my list to blog about for quite a while, but got pushed down by several other things that have popped up. This post might also offend a few people so be warned. It should serve as more as a wake up call and not taken personally. First, when reading the EPN forum, I highly suggest not spending too much time there as there is more junk then good there. If you are going there to look for reasons EPN is screwing you or reasons why EPN does not work, you should close your Build A Niche Stores now. You will never have the faith in your subconscious to move forward and do the things needed to succeed because you will never really trust the system. I myself only visit the EPN forum 2-3 times a week and basically am just looking for any updates that EPN might have or any successful things other EPN users are having. Secondly, when visiting the BANS forum, I would first start with any announcements that may have been issued concerning the BANS software. Then I would go into the traffic section to see what successes others are having with generating traffic. Lastly I would check the general talk section of the forum and skip over any of the threads that have derogatory tones. Also there are several knowledgeable posters on the forum and I would make sure you view the profile of your favorite poster or posters and bookmark that page. This way you can easily click on the link of that posters most previous post without having to go thread by thread. The forums can be a huge time wast sucker as well. Luckily I have 14 hours a day to dedicate to my business and break throughout the day to read and post. If you have a question, try to use the search feature to see if it has already answered as normally most have been in some way shape or fun. there is lots to learn on both forums and also even more things that will hamper or knock down your trust in BANS and EPN. The forums should be used as a tool for your business and should be treated as thus.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Learning More About SEO From This Very Blog

You can learn a lot sometimes by just looking at how Google and other search engines see web sites. I have mentioned the lynx text viewer tool several times. Put this blog url into the tool and see how the SERPS read this page. Notice it gets to the content real quick, which is always a good thing in my opinion. You can also right click on this blog and view source. You can see how the h2 tag is used for each title of each blog post and also how the h2 tag is used for the category titles. Now being that blogger is run by Google and this blog does well in Google, one can assume that the html structure is right on track and should be closely mimicked in your Build A Niche Stores as well. Look at your stores in the lynx viewer. Is the content hitting first or is the store navigation and all site navigation coming up first? It is not a HUGE deal, but I want the SERPS to get to my meat and potatoes sooner than later when crawling. The BANS templates I designed also get your content read early in a text crawl. There is a ton to learn by looking at high ranking sites on Google, especially if the site is on a platform that Google owns.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Chewbacca Defense & Google Adsense

I have been bombarded with questions lately on my thoughts about Google adsense on Build A Niche Store sites and if it will get your store de-indexed. I can speak from my experiences that as of right now I have had absolutely no problem running Google adsense ads on some of my BANS stores. This as Johnnie Cochran would say, "Does not make sense!" There are a ton of things that will get de-indexed on Google and I have a hard time pinning it on Google adsense ads as the culprit. If your BANS store is an out of the box store with little or no content on a standard or only slightly modified template, then yes, Google could de-index you for being a thin affiliate site. If you are adding unique content and not leaving default meta tags and navigation titles on the site, I truly do not believe you have anything to worry about. I do think people need to start slowly stepping away from the default BANS templates in the near future as not to be so recognizable. I sell templates and so do several other sites. Make sure if you do purchase templates elsewhere that they still do not closely resemble a regular template and also make sure that you are not just buying a fancy background image as a substitute for a template. It is time to start being unique with your sites. I still have some stores that use BANS original templates and have no plans right now on altering them. I just now choose to have newer stores look more unique. If you have a certain template you would like modified you can contact me and I will be glad to quote you an affordable price. So do not freak out on adsense and also have uniqueness in the back of your mind going forward with your niche store building.

Here is more info on the Chewbacca defense.

The term Chewbacca defense is used to refer to any legal strategy or propaganda strategy that seeks to overwhelm its audience or jury with nonsensical arguments, as a way of confusing the audience and drowning out legitimate opposing arguments.

Chewbacca Defense originated in the animated series South Park. The show satirized attorney Johnnie Cochran's closing argument defending O.J. Simpson in his murder trial.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Build A Niche Store BANS Pepperjam Update Package

Since we spoke about Pepperjam Network (PJN) a couple of days ago
there have been quite a lot of questions about BANS, EPN and
Pepperjam many of which are based on misinterpretations of what
Pepperjam means to BANS and what its' purpose as an option is.

Please take the time to read this email carefully...

eBay's own affiliate platform (EPN) is now and will remain the
principal platform for ALL eBay affiliates and it is what BANS is
built to work with.

eBay, in an attempt to expand the reach of their affiliate program
(ie attract more affiliates) have partnered with Pepperjam to allow
Pepperjam publishers to promote eBay listed products through the
Pepperjam network rather than having to sign up directly with eBay
under the EPN platform.

Upon hearing of this partnership quite a few BANS users contacted
both us and Pepperjam explaining that they wanted Pepperjam as an
option and so we have created the following updates:

1. An update pack for converting existing V3.0 EPN US stores to PJN
called - BANS v3.0 EPN to PJN Convertor Pack

2. A fresh download of V3.0 for US stores called - BANS v3.0 PJN
Full Download

3. For any users that switch to PJN and then want to return to EPN
we have also created an update pack for converting V3.0 PJN US
stores back to EPN called - BANS v3.0 PJN to EPN Convertor Pack

If you DO NOT want to use Pepperjam and are happy using EPN then
these updates have no meaning for you. We, for example, will not
be converting any of our own niche stores from EPN to Pepperjam.

These updates are purely for those users that do want to switch
their current V3.0 US stores to Pepperjam or build new US V3.0
stores with Pepperjam.

These updates are also only being made available only through the
BANS "back-end" - ie to to existing BANS users and then any new
BANS users who go through the process we will describe below.

Consequently we are not adding a Pepperjam option for US store
building inside the main BANS package (ie when it is first
downloaded by new customers) or modifying the existing manuals to
include a reference to it. This may change when Pepperjam adds the
infrastructure to support all the eBay affiliate programs and not
just the US eBay affiliate program.

We have, however, added a new forum section called Pepperjam
Network which can be found here:

And all questions relating to Pepperjam should be posted inside
that section.

The only way a new user of BANS will be able to move from EPN to
Pepperjam is by following the instructions inside the sticky post
found in that section.

If you would like to download and use any of the Pepperjam updates
outlined above then please visit the appropriate download area
described below.

The update packs for converting stores to PJN or back to EPN
contain a READ ME file which you should read first before updating
any of your stores.

1. For all ClickBank purchasers (95% of BANS users) please enter
your ClickBank receipt number to access the download area (using
the "send receipt number to your email" if you do not have it) at
the following url:

2. For those special offer purchasers through either Jim Cockrum or
Lynn Terry please enter your PayPal email address to access the
download area at the following url:

PLEASE NOTE: If you have any problems accessing or downloading the
updated versions of BANS please submit a support ticket to our
download support center found here with your full name so that we
can answer your query:

Inside each of the download areas you will see this latest
Pepperjam update appropriately posted at the top.

We hope this has helped clarify what Pepperjam means for any BANS
users that still had questions about it and that those users who
wanted the option are happy with the update.

Kelvin and Adam

The Power Of A Blog Post

If you remember a few days ago I made a post about the Powered By Build A Niche Store link removal. That post had two purposes. One to educate you on turning that off or removing it and second to show you the power of that blog post itself. Now let us keep in mind that that phrase is not highly searched for, but there are tons of stores with that phrase on every page of that store. Just a few days later and a search in Google for "Powered By Build A Niche Store" and that blog post is on page 1 of Google. A few factors probably play into it. One the extension carries some weight, especially being owned by Google. Second this blog is gaining some authority. It has a page rank of 1, but come next update will likely be a 3 or a 4. Thirdly the title of the post is on target along with the content of the post. This is why I think everyone should have a blog, even a free one on blogspot to either launch new Build A Niche Stores off of or use as a journal or online diary. Just post to it every day or every other day and things will happen. Also I would like to note that the post was not social bookmarked or backlinked to other than the related post feature I added a few days ago, so this is just results of the blog authority itself and the daily spider visits this blog gets. Have a great weekend and go make some money.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Post 150 & A Blog Facelift

Well it is hard to believe I have 150 post on this blog now. Admittedly I am not the worlds greatest blogger, but feel I have gotten a tons better. it also has helped keep me regimented with several other things as well. I felt is was time to give it a cleaner look at found this template at E Blog Templates. I really like the layout and feel of it and it hardly looks like a blogspot blog anymore. I have also added a widget that post related post at the bottom of each individual blog post. This now ensures post are deep linked and should help this blog do even better in the SERPS. I am a fan of Wordpress, but Blogspot has always intrigued me. If you are not too comfortable with Wordpress yourself and need a blog, I highly suggest starting with Blogspot, which is owned by Google. This blog does not produce glorious amounts of income, but it has started to pick up a little and every month seems to be better than the last. Thank you to all of my loyal readers as well. I hope you enjoy the journey thus far and there is plenty more coming. I make notes everyday on things I want to cover on this blog concerning Build A Niche Store and also some other easy ways to make money online. Let me know how you like the new look, even if you hate it. LOL.

Also I am going to start taking email questions and posting them on the blog, either every Friday or every other Friday depending on the volume sent. They will be posted anonymously, so do not worry about being embarrassed. You can send all questions to the email address below:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Powered By Build A Niche Store

You probably have already figured out what this post is about, but I am going to post it the rest anyway. The little link at the bottom of 90% of the Build A Niche Stores out there can cost you. First a mere search in Google for "powered by build a niche store" as of today brings up 559,000 search results. This means it is very easy to track down your store for fellow niche store builders or even competitor non BANS users. If you have a heavy hitting producing store this is inviting being copied and outranked by a more experienced webmaster. Secondly, in all of my time building BANS stores I have had much better success promoting the BANS software through my own make money blogs. Even this blog makes a handful of sales a month. If someone is coming to your niche store to buy an item associated with your niche, odds on they will not even notice the link. Thirdly this is the last anchor link on most stores and should be used to point to your own site to with solid keyword anchor text to fortify with the SERPs what your store is about. If you are still headstrong about linking to BANS, I highly suggest changing the wording or using a banner in one of the sidebar boxes. So take my advice and lets make the results in Google go down by next update time.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Pepperjam & Build A Niche Store Will Partner

As you will probably know eBay recently partnered with Pepperjam
which allows affiliates to market eBay listed products through the
Pepperjam network rather than the EPN platform.

From eBay's perspective the principal reason for doing this is to
extend their reach into the affiliate marketing community.
Pepperjam is a large network with "X" amount of affiliate marketers
and this partnership will bring a percentage of Pepperjam
publishers who were not previously eBay affiliates into the eBay
affiliate program(s)...the EPN platform itself is going nowhere.

From your perspective as a BANS user it opens the possibility of
running your BANS stores through the Pepperjam network rather than
EPN and a number of users have expressed an interest in having this

Consequently, we have been in communication with Pepperjam over
this past week and a half discussing the different options for
linking BANS up with Pepperjam and a projected timescale for doing

They have been working to bring the eBay RSS feed (which BANS
requires) into their platform this past week and have also been
discussing with eBay the option and timescale over which they can
extend their support of the eBay affiliate programs from just the
US (currently) to all the eBay affiliate programs so that they can
support all BANS countries and users.

There was a debate as to whether we would go ahead with BANS US to
start with and then add support for the additional countries once
Pepperjam had brought them inside their network or whether we would
wait until all the countries were supported and release a complete
version of BANS Pepperjam to compliment BANS EPN.

It has now been decided that BANS and Pepperjam will partner over
the following 2 stages.

1. A BANS V3.0 Pepperjam for US store builders will be released
along with an update pack for existing V3.0 US stores if you would
like to convert then from EPN to Pepperjam.

2. Once Pepperjam has extended their support from just the
(US) affiliate program to include all of the eBay affiliate
programs we will release a complete (ie all countries) Pepperjam
version of BANS V3.0 to sit alongside BANS V3.0 EPN and it will be
up to you to decide which network you use.

We've spoken with Kris from Pepperjam this morning and stage 1
should happen sometime this week.

Once we know more we'll update you Smile


Kelvin and Adam

Monday, June 9, 2008

Free Wordtracker 7 days


Wordtracker recently launched a promotion offering new subscribers unlimited 7 day access to the full version of Wordtracker for FREE. This promotion has been very successful to date as it has allowed many more people experience how Wordtracker Keyword Research can greatly benefit their online marketing efforts.

Build A Niche Store Link Structure


I wanted to touch on a mistake that several newbie Build A Niche Store owners make. Mostly this is made when creating a customized content page or customized store page. If you look at the image to the left you will see 3 items. The page location is the directory tree if you will. The drop down menu will let you choose under what heading or part of the site this page is to be associated with. Usually this is left on main, but can be changed to accommodate your needs. Second is the Link Name. this is the actual anchor text your link will show up as. If you have done your keyword research you can name this however you deem necessary. If a particular page is a content page on the history of blue widgets, you might name it, Blue Widget History. Now the last section is where I see most of the errors made and that is the Page Url. Make sure you do not put spaces in here as they could hurt your site ranking and indexing and might even not load for some surfers. You can either run the words together like bluewidgethistory or use a hyphen or underscore to separate the words. blue-widget-history or blue_widget_history are examples. I usually use all lowercase as well. I know a bunch of the readers know this, but I have seen several niche stores that do not have the url properly formatted so I wanted to touch on it today.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Make Your Own Niche Store Header Image

Sometimes I have to remind myself that some people struggle with some things more than other things. Sometimes creating a header image can be tough for newbies and software like Gimp (which is free) or Photoshop (which is pay) is a bit overwhelming. I came across an interesting free banner/header generator that might help a few people out in getting a decent header image done. It is Sunday, so I give you permission to break from all of that BANS backlink building you are doing to play around with this tool and master it. You do have to register to download your creation, but free is free and if you are graphic challenged this will suffice. There are other free online banner creators to use if you search Google. I do suggest downloading Gimp and learn some free tutorials from Youtube or do a search on Google for free gimp tutorials. Designing banners and headers will help you forever, so the quicker you learn simple graphic creation the better.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Stop Being So Bold

I see a ton of Build A Niche Stores that go crazy on bolding keywords. I suggest you might want to tone it down a bit on the bolding. As a matter of fact I currently have 18 stores on the front page of Google for the target keyword I am chasing and not one of those stores or content pages on those stores have bolded keywords in content. In fact I have taken out the boldness in the navigation and store navigation as well. This is not scientific, but Google is no dummie. Over doing the bold on your keyword phrases might start looking spammy in the eyes of Google and knowing you can rank page 1 without out, why do it?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Pepperjam eBay Affiliate Program & Build A Niche Store


Got a few emails asking about the new Pepperjam affiliate program and its relationship with eBay. I talked to Mandy from Pepperjam and she indicated that they are in talks with Adam and Kelvin from Build A Niche Store. While there are a ton of things up in the air at the present time I can tell you this. This will not affect how you are currently working with EPN. The Pepperjam program will likely be along the lines of what Commission Junction was doing with eBay. My best suggestion is to go ahead and sign up with Pepperjam now and apply to the eBay program. That way you are ready whenever more on the Pepperjam/eBay relationship surfaces. I suggest you fill out the application honestly and as complete as possible as this could delay your approval. Also Pepperjam has a ton other companies they run affiliates for so you might find someone to promote as well.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Staring An Old Non Producing Store In The Eyes

I've done it before and you do it too. You know you do. Yes you, admit it. You have a couple of build a niche stores that produce every now and again. You know deep done that it is a good niche, but you do not know why it is not ranking or getting much traffic. Stop looking at it and revamp it.

Ask yourself these questions.

1. Is each page optimized around a different keyword or keyword phrase.
If you score less than 37 you need to change some things via the tool suggestions. Check each page. Especially the front page of you store.

2. Does the front page of your store have at least 100-350 words of keyword driven text on it? The more food on the front page the more words you might get organic searches for.

3. Are any pages blank, broken or showing no products? Fix them or delete them.

4. Do you have any keyword driven content pages on site? Something other than store pages?

5. Are you using any content that was copied verbatim from somewhere else? If it ain't original you likely will not rank good for it.

6. Is your site completely indexed? in Google should yield all of your pages, if not you need to submit those pages to some social bookmarking sites.

7. Are you using default category/page names and default title/description tags? Google wants you to be unique, not eBay Jr.

All of these things listed above can turn around a bland none producing store. Why spend more money on a domain or store when you cant build one the right way? Learn on your existing stores how to do it right and then go on to your next store. Sitting there watching your old store collect dust and logging into EPN 15 times a day does not work.

So YOU, yes YOU.!!!! Go fix that damn store the right way.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The 90 Minute A Day Niche Store Builder

I realize that not everyone has the luxury to spend countless hours working on their Build A Niche Stores like I do. Let me also say that it did not happen over night for me to get in the position to do it either. I spent many late nights and sacrificing sleeping, eating and recreation hours to get there. It is important to use what time you do have very efficiently and those sessions can provide fantastic results in 3 month intervals. Now I know good and well everyone of you has 90 minutes a day you can devote to your BANS stores. If you do not have 90 minutes you need to reevaluate your lifestyle. Now lets look at how those 90 minutes should be spent.

1. Before even getting started everyday make sure you block out all distractions and are ready to work and have your game face on. Get yourself geared up to knock out your work. Turn the phone, TV, spouse and kids off (they do all have switches, don't they?).

2. First 20 minutes can see you submitting at least one page from one of your stores to all of the popular web 2.0 social bookmark websites (digg, propeller,stumbleupon etc) using the free socialmarker tool. You should have your usernames and passwords all ready to go. This is very easy to do and will get you off to a productive start.

3. Next 30 minutes should be used to submit to at least 20-25 free directory sites. Using the firefox trick mentioned here and one of the many list of free directories you can submit to. You will get this down to a science if you can not afford the directory submission services. Imagine doing 25 a day for 8 days, thats a cool 200 submissions. This should get your mind in full gear.

4. Next 30 minutes should be devoted to writing content of some sorts. Whether it be for your own site or an article directory submission. Open up notepad and start typing. 350 words goes by quick. Trust me, just open up notepad and start typing the who,what,when,where,why and how. You are not handing it in to a teacher and the more you do the easier it gets.

5. Next 10 minutes can be used to either post that new piece of content to your store or submit it to the top 2 article directories (ezinearticles & goarticles).

Now I know that is a broad brush stroke, but if you are getting these task done daily, you will see results. Not today, not tomorrow, but in 3 month increments. These are very important task and should be done at least 4 days a week. You can set up another 90 minute schedule for things to do on the other 3 days, such as building another store or making SEO edits to your existing stores. Do not let time management be your downfall or your excuse.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Using Free Servers To Build Doorway Pages

If you have been thinking about building some doorway pages to funnel some traffic to your Build A Niche Stores, you might want to consider using Free Servers. You can throw up a 3 or 4 page html website in a hurry and fill it with articles related to your niche from ezinearticles or goarticles. Then you can link keywords in the articles to your BANS store pages. I have been using for quite a while. The only drawback is that they flash ads on your site, but I am only after a little traffic and another backlink or backlinks to my stores. You can submit these to social bookmarking sites so they get indexed. There are tons of free templates out there even some to download in your cpanel of hostgator. I wouldn't spend too much time perfecting them, but even a plain jane looking site can throw a few visitors your way. Also if it doesn't look too spammy you can submit it off to DMOZ and hope it makes it in the directory.

Monday, June 2, 2008

eBay Wordpress Plugin PHPBay Comparison

I have received a few emails concerning the PHPBay Wordpress plugin and wanted to expand on it. Yes it is a great plugin. Yes it is very easy to set up and integrate into your Wordpress blog. I have been asked if it is better than Build A Niche Store and I can only tell you it is an unfair comparison. Both do the same thing, they deliver product listings of eBay listings via the EPN network. You can use the PHP ebay plugin to either add listings to a certain blog post or build a content/store page as well. It is just a different basket to put your eggs into, especially if you are very comfortable with Wordpress. An even better use of it is attaching a blog to your BANS store and posting to it at least once or twice a week with listings in the blog post. I am asked if I am dumping BANS for PHPBay all together and the answer is no. I just use it as a separate tool. I still use BANS and PHPeBay both, sometimes separate, sometimes together. If you are still a newbie learning the whole system, I would say continue on with just BANS until you see how the whole process works. If you are very comfortable with BANS then you might want to venture into PHPBay to give you a little more broadness. Thanks for all of the emails and I hope this clarifies my views on both a little better.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Build A Niche Store Templates - Google Friendly BANS Templates

I have had a ton of request for the Build A Niche Store template I did to be done in more colors. I have now done the template in 13 colors. Thank you for all the great feedback emails I received. I am selling this template pack for a mere $29.00 which is less than $2.25 a template.

Buy Now

You can see the screen shots below: Click the picture to enlarge.
or see a larger picture here

Buy Now
These templates are very SEO friendly and easy to install. If you are worried about the stock BANS footprint, then these are perfect for you. If you have any questions or do not receive your template after paying, please contact me ASAP at the email below.

Send me an email after purchasing and tell me how you like the templates and I will send you another FREE gift as well.
Buy Now


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